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To Atone For Indulgence

Happy Thanksgiving (a day late)! It feels good to be writing again. It’s been a long while 🙂 I’ll talk about that later, but for now, I want to discuss something I’ve noticed for years, but never never felt terribly bothered by….until now.

Compensatory behaviors, especially around food, have basically become the norm in our society: “Oh, you ate a lot yesterday? Better make up for it today!” This morning when I opened up a news page online, the first articles to greet my eyes dealt with “negative calorie foods to make up for yesterday” and “post-Thanksgiving detox diets”.

The message is loud and clear. If you commit the horrid sin of “indulgence”, you must do x, y, and z in order to undo it.

As a survivor of anorexia, that was my life. Except any meal or snack qualified as an indulgence. And I needed to find a way to undo it. All.the.time. This is why I have a fundamental issue with our current mentality of “indulge today, starve tomorrow”.

What if we enjoyed a special meal today and then tomorrow, go back to our normal eating style? Or what if we enjoyed a special meal today, and then tomorrow, enjoyed some of the leftovers? What if we stopped demonizing the enjoyment of good food in reasonable quantities? A quantity that makes our bodies feel good, feel satisfied.

I don’t think God would have made food to taste good if we weren’t to enjoy it 😊

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31

I think God is most glorified when we thank him for blessings He has given us and enjoy them…and take care of ourselves in the process!

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Take care!

Beth

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A Picture of Priorities

I’m a creature of habit.  I have a morning routine that sets the tone for my whole day.  I tend to read my favorite blogs in a certain order.  And as odd as it may sound, I have routines within routines.  Like I always floss and THEN brush (right, Christy??)  The honey ALWAYS goes on the yogurt before the banana.  And I even put my rings on in a very specific order.

It used to be a mindless activity – putting my rings on.  But as I’ve received and purchased rings over the years, each one has taken on a meaning – and been given a priority.

The first ring I put on my hand is a simple band – but it says “faith”.  On the inside, it says “Live by faith, not by sight.”  Putting this ring on first reminds me of my first priority: to ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ (Matthew 22:37).

The second ring I put on?  My wedding band.  It reminds me of the love between my husband and I, and also, that my marriage is second only to God.  Keeping God as the first priority will enable me to ‘Love your neighbor [husband] as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39).

The third and final ring I place on my hand is my engagement ring.  I’m still thinking about exactly what priority it symbolizes.  Of course, it’s a reminder of the initial commitment between my husband and I, and it reminds me of all of the circumstances and events that brought us together.

It may seem insignificant – the order in which I put my rings on each morning.  But every day – whether it’s a hurried affair or a leisurely moment – I am reminded of my priorities.

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What in your life serves to remind you of your priorities?

Blessings,

Beth

Perspective from a Potato

Picture this: I’m standing in the kitchen, pulling the ingredients together for the super awesome crock-pot dinner I had planned for the evening.  I grab the bag of potatoes – which has two in it – and discover that one of them is rotten.  Moldy.  Squishy.  I need two potatoes for the recipe.  I turn back to the potato drawer and see that there are three little red potatoes left.  “Well, I guess that will have to do,” I think to myself.  So, I go to work preparing dinner.

A little bit later, a sense of failure washed over me.  “Why didn’t you check the potatoes before grocery shopping?  That was dumb!  You could have gotten more.”  I went for a walk (my time to decompress), and realized there are two perspectives to my potato incident.  I could see it as a failure – I hadn’t ensured that both potatoes were still edible.  Or, I could see it as a moment of resourcefulness.  I didn’t have two good russets, so I subbed in what I had on hand.

I think I like that one better.

I think it’s the same way in our walk with the Lord.  When he allows us to hit bumps in the road, we have two options: to see it as a bump in the road and cry and moan about it, or we can see it as an opportunity for growth.  In my experience, when I can shift my perspective to see life’s difficulties as a chance to grow, the situation becomes more bearable.  I have a sense of direction now.

All of this makes me think of God’s discipline.  Hebrews 12:7 says “Endure trials for the sake of discipline.  God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?”  A few verses later, Hebrews 12:11 says “Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

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So maybe my potato incident wasn’t “discipline”, but I think it illustrates the point of perspective.  When those difficulties in life do show up, changing our perspective makes such a difference.  Knowing that those difficulties (discipline) will grow us – it makes me feel a lot better.

Blessings!

Beth

Not Why, But What

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You all know what I’m talking about.  That moment, when we’re at our wit’s end over fill-in-the-blank, and all we can think is “Why?  Why, Lord?  Why do I have to deal with this?”  We (or at least I) mope and frown, wishing whatever I’m dealing with would just pass.  Please?  I mean really, what did I do to cause this?

This is exactly where I am with some tummy troubles I’ve been experiencing recently.  The discomfort has lasted much longer than normal, and I just want it to leave me alone.  I ask the Lord “Why?”  Two things come to mind:

1. In my last post, I mentioned that I’d been experiencing a dry time – a time of feeling far from the Lord.  In this time of tummy discomfort, I’ve done a lot of crying out to Him.  And our lives are to be about growing closer to the Lord, yes?

2. Inspired by my pastor’s wife, I’m beginning to see the questions “why?” and “what?” on two very different levels.  Rather than simply asking God why we’re dealing with something, we should ask God “What?  What do you have for me in this time?”  It’s kind of a “pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again” type of humility.  Kind of telling the Lord, “Well, I know you have a reason, so what am I to do or learn?”

Asking God “What?” allows us to be peaceful, and rest in the promise of Isaiah 30:21:

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Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

I’m faced with this challenge today – to ask God “What?” instead of “Why?”  Will you do the same?

Blessings,

Beth

Seeking Him

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Hello!  Thank you for taking a moment to visit my newest attempt at blogging.

After beginning two eating disorder-related blogs, it feels like it’s time to move forward.  Not to forget what I wrote in the days when anorexia ruled me, but to continue growing and seeking after what the Lord has for me.

Have you ever experienced a “dry time”, when you feel like you are a million miles away from God?  That’s been me for the last few weeks.  Yesterday, while walking, I poured my heart out to the Lord, asking him why I felt so far away, so distant?  “What happened to the closeness I felt a few months ago?  What happened to the closeness I felt in college?  What happened to the closeness I felt when writing those spirit-led blog posts?”

It seemed like God nudged me in that moment.  “Write.  Write about what I reveal to you in my word.  Write about the things that encourage you and the things that challenge you.  Seek me, and write.”

So I’m writing and seeking – with my whole heart.

I pray that God will use me to encourage or challenge or_________ you.  I will simply do as I feel led, and write.  I’ll let God take care of the rest.  🙂

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Blessings, friends!

Beth